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New Superintendents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Manchester

  • San Diego, Portland and Buffalo Leaders Tenure Extended; Interim Leaders in Providence, Norfolk and Santa Ana

    As the 2019-2020 school year gets underway, two urban school districts will have new leaders at the helm.

    North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education voted unanimously and without a formal search to name long-time administrator Earnest Winston superintendent of the district, which enrolls more than 147,000 students. He succeeds superintendent Clayton Wilcox, who resigned after serving at the helm since 2017. Earnest Winston

    Winston first joined the district in 2004 as an English and journalism teacher but soon moved into administrative posts, including chief of staff to two superintendents and as the district’s first ombudsman since 2017. 

    In a press release, Winston said his team is “moving forward together on our commitment to equity …. Our shared focus is on what matters most—great teaching and learning for every student in every school.”

    Also selecting a new leader was New Hampshire’s Manchester School District, which named John Goldhardt as the new superintendent of the 15,000-student school district, the state’s largest. He succeeds co-interim superintendents Amy Allen and Jennifer Gillis. John Goldhardt

    Goldhardt served as executive director for school leadership and performance with Utah’s Salt Lake City School District since 2017. 

    Praise Plus Contract Extensions

    Cindy Marten, who has led the San Diego Unified School District since 2013, recently received a four-year contract extension. The Board of Education cited strong academic gains in the 121,000-student school system and credited Marten’s leadership. The district won recognition last year for out-performing other big-city districts on the National Assessment of Education Progress and has won plaudits in the state for gains among historically disadvantaged groups, including African American and Hispanic students.Cindy Marten

    In a news release, trustee Richard Barrera hailed Marten’s leadership and her “very clear strategy that has been designed to help each and every one of our students achieve to their fullest potential.” 

    Oregon’s Portland Public Schools has issued a vote of confidence to Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, extending his contract by two years. Guerrero, who took the reins in 2017, will now lead the 49,000-student school district through June 2022. Board members praised Guerrero for his work ethic and for achievements, including opening two new middle schools, focusing on academic programming and behavioral supports and hiring a strong leadership team. Guadalupe Guerrero

    Also receiving a contract extension was Kriner Cash, superintendent of New York’s Buffalo Public Schools since 2015. He received a one-year extension on his contract, set to expire in 2020, as schools in Buffalo show improvement in state ratings. The number of schools considered to be in good standing have more than tripled from 14 to 46 and the number of schools in receivership have dwindled from 25 to 3, according to a news release.

    “Under Dr. Cash’s leadership, I truly believe we have achieved a turnaround district,” said Barbara Nevergold, school board president. “We are not going back.” Kriner Cash

    Interim Leaders Named

    Frances Gallo, a former Rhode Island superintendent, has come out of retirement to take the post of interim superintendent of the Providence Public School District for 90 days. She replaced acting superintendent Dorothy Smith.

    Rhode Island’s education commissioner, Angélica Infante-Green recently announced state plans to take over the city’s schools in the wake of a Johns Hopkins University report detailing the district’s struggles with discipline, teacher absenteeism and low expectations for students. Infante-Green said she would appoint a “turnaround” superintendent in late fall. 

    In Norfolk, Va., administrator Sharon Byrdsong has been appointed acting superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools while the school board conducts a search to replace Melinda Boone, who recently resigned. Byrdsong has been with the district for two decades, most recently directing partnerships with the military and other agencies. In 2006, she was named the national middle school principal of the year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

    California’s Santa Ana Unified School District has selected Alan Rasmussen and Richard Tauer to share duties as co-interim superintendents while the school board searches for a new permanent school leader to replace Stefanie Phillips, who resigned after serving as superintendent since 2016. Both men held superintendency posts in their careers and are education consultants.